This Monday I had the privilege of giving my first talk at the Drupal Cambrdige meetup (@drupalcambs). It was on the subject of using Ansible to provision servers and manage Drupal installations and the slides are embedded below. I had a lot of fun giving the presentation and hopefully it will be the first of many. I just hope the audience had as much of a good time!

Just a few accompanying notes for the slides (I didn’t want to overdo it with onscreen text for the presentation, so a lot of it is mainly headlines):

  • The principles slides: servers are livestock, don’t feed the sheep - the idea behind these analogies is that you want your servers to be identical, as far as possible.
  • If you can avoid logging into your servers to manage them, this emans you have no bespoke configuration on them and they can be very disposable.
  • If something goes wrong (your server is ill), you can get rid of it and spin up a new one quickly. If you log in to a server to maintain it, it becomes your prize sheep and you have to look after it. Which is not ideal.
  • Idempotence - play it again. I advise that you Google idempotence. Wikipedia explains it better than I ever could!

Other than that, it should be fairly clear what’s going on. As regular readers of thsi blog will know, we’re big fans of Ansible here at Will Hall Online; it’s really helped to automate our operations for much better efficiency than we could previously achieve. We’re sure that many other Drupal developers could find it similarly useful. Hopefully the slides here should provide a decent overview of some basic ideas and uses of Ansible.